While meetings are a necessary part of nearly every business, all too often they turn into time wasting traps. However, a well-run meeting can be a great tool for developing and exchanging ideas. What makes the difference between a waste of time and an effective meeting of the minds? Communication!
Communicate Your Goals: Well before the meeting takes place, make sure that not only the topic is set, but the specific goals of the meeting as well. Then, include these in a memo for everyone attending. If all parties are aware of exactly what you are hoping to achieve, they will come better mentally prepared and more effectively contribute to the conversation.
Make the Agenda Known: As the meeting begins, review the goals that you would like to achieve. Then establish a set time frame in which you would like to address them. If everyone is aware in advance of how much time you expect to devote to each topic, it will be much easier to keep your schedule on track.
Ban Monologues: Every office has one: that person who habitually goes on and on in meetings, making it hard for anyone else to get a word in. While you don’t want to discourage people like this (they often have excellent ideas buried in all that speech!), you must put a limit on how much they speak in order to allow an effective flow of communication. In order to politely move along, jump in and say, “I really like what you’re saying, and it sounds like you have some great ideas. Unfortunately we’re in a bit of a time crunch, but if you’d like, we can meet later on and discuss some of your thoughts.”
Have a tip to add for effective business meetings? Or horror stories of meetings gone terribly wrong? Share it in our comments section.
For more great advice on good speech, voice, and communication habits, visit us at our website, www.corporatespeechsolutions.com.